If you’re considering asphalt roofing due to its affordability compared to premium roofing types, it may not be your only option. Rubber roofing is also easy on the wallet but doesn’t come with some of the biggest drawbacks. For example, asphalt shingles are not environmentally-friendly and are susceptible to damage from extreme weather and fluctuating temperatures. And despite increasing design versatility, their aesthetic may not be able to compete with the look of premium roofing materials.
Rubber roofing (also called EPDM – ethylene, propylene, diene monomer) on the other hand, is durable, energy efficient, similar in appearance to slate tiles, and usually made from 95 percent recycled materials. It can also be recycled when you remove it from your roof, but its lifespan is longer than that of asphalt by at least a decade, so you won’t have to worry about that for some time.
Even though rubber roofing is on the lower end of the cost spectrum as far as materials go, replacing your roof or installing a new one is still a large-scale project that should be carefully researched and planned. Make sure to consider the following costs and other factors before moving forward.
Investing in Rubber Roofing
The cost of materials will depend on the thickness and color. Remember that this may affect factors other than appearance, including energy efficiency; white on black shingles are preferable to plain black in this regard, as they absorb heat and resist UV rays. Acrylic coatings of various colors are available, so you don’t have to feel limited by plain gray.
Rubber roofing tends to cost $3 to $4 per square foot, but be prepared to spend a few hundred extra dollars on additional necessary supplies, such as adhesive and foam insulation.
Installation generally involves an on-site inspection, delivery, application of underlayment/adhesive, installation of the shingles or rubber roll, and additional work such as installing flashing and ridge vents. The cost for this labor will most likely fall between $3500 and $5500, but of course it will depend on your roof area and configuration—larger roofs or those with complex configurations will demand more labor. This cost doesn’t include repairs or tear-off and disposal.
Overall, the total for your rubber roofing will likely fall between $6500 and $9000, but use this as a reference rather than an actual estimate. Make sure to call multiple local contractors for quotes before you make any decisions regarding this project.
Rubber Roofing Maintenance
Cost, aesthetic, and durability aren’t the only factors to consider when selecting a roofing material. The amount of time or money you’ll need to dedicate to maintenance can make or break the appeal of any roofing type.
If you choose a rubber roll, it has no seams and therefore presents less of a possibility of leaking and damage. Rubber is naturally water-resistant, but your shingles can develop spots of black mold. However, these should not be a concern if you clean your roof a few times per year. The best method for this upkeep is to sweep or rinse off loose debris before spraying on a commercial-grade cleanser. Use a water hose to remove the remaining residue. If you do have a leak that needs repair, this job is as simple as cleaning the affected spot, applying adhesive, and patching it up.
If you want extra protection from heat and greater energy efficiency, a UV coating could enhance these features.
Other Factors to Consider
- Other factors that could raise the cost of this project include: thicker roofing material, high-quality underlayment or insulation, repairs, or an extended warranty agreement.
- The installation of rubber roofing is easier and quicker than other materials. The rubber is also lighter in weight, which makes it easier to deliver to your home.
- Rubber roofing will most likely cost more than asphalt roofing, but less than metal, slate, clay, and other premium types. Before you go with asphalt due to the low price, remember that the quality and performance is one of the highest for the price.
- Rubber roofing has to be properly installed in order to offer all of the typical benefits. Keep this in mind if you’re considering handling the project yourself. Though the investment may be less daunting with DIY work, you may ultimately waste money on repairs or on home damage. Protect the investment of your new roof and this project by hiring someone who knows the ins and outs of rubber roofing installation.